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Last updated on July 1, 2023
Tsarabanjina is a tiny island of the Mitsio archipelago, located some 40 miles north of Nosy Be, off the northwestern coast of Madagascar. The island is private, and managed by the Constance Tsarabanjina, an intimate luxury resort. Surrounded by powder-soft beaches and translucent azure waters, Tsarabanjina is a perfect spot to snorkel untouched reefs, where it is usual to observe sea turtles, Madagascar clownfish and emperor angelfish in a few feet of water.
Tsarabanjina is only accessible by boat. From Nosy Be, you will reach the island in about 1 and a half hours by speedboat. There are only two options for snorkeling the island. The first is to book a stay at the Constance Tsarabanjina, the luxury hotel set on the island. The second is to take part to a day tour or a cruise, including a snorkeling stop or an overnight stay on Tsarabanjina.
Enter the water from on of the sandy beaches surrounding the island, depending on which area you want to snorkel.
Snorkeling is good all around the island, surrounded by sand, rocks, and coral, but we particularly recommend you the two coral reef areas (↕3-12ft/1-4m), known for the richness of their marine life (see map above).
On the reef you will find beautiful hard coral, including branching coral, inhabited by shoals of hundreds of green Chromis. Try to find a sea anemone between the rocks: most of them are inhabited by Madagascar clownfish, endemic from the southwestern Indian Ocean.
Parrotfish, butterflyfish, Moorish idols, moray eels and oriental sweetlips are amongst the many fish that can be seen during your snorkeling time.
Two species of sea turtles (hawksbill and green sea turtles) are frequently observed around Tsarabanjina, grazing peacefully on the seabed.
The only accommodation set on the island is the Constance Tsarabanjina. Stays at the resort is full board.
Sea turtles (especially hawksbill sea turtles) are a familiar sight in Tsarabanjina. In order to be a responsible snorkeler, be sure to respect the following rules when observing them:
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Marine park with vibrant coral reef and sea turtles
Sand bank edged by a coral reef
Reef drop off and sea turtles
Free shore access
Marine reserve with a vibrant reef drop off and many sea turtles
Free shore access
Small islets fringed by a vibrant coral reef